ALTERNATIVE TREK TO MACHU PICCHU: Salkantay, Inca Jungle, Lares, Choquequirao, Huchuy Qosqo

SALKANTAY TREK

Description

Salkantay trek express 5 days, is one of the most popular alternative treks after the classic Inca trail to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, in this route you will see one of the most important apus of Cusco.

SALKANTAY TREK ITINERARY

DAY 1: CUSCO – MOLLEPATA – SORAYPAMPA

We will pick you up from your hotel in Cusco shortly after 4 a.m. to go by private van to Mollepata. This is a spectacular scenic drive through the Anta plains with beautiful and panoramic views across a vast plateau of the majestic Salkantay and other mountains covered with snow. Then marvel at the spectacular winding descent into the Valley of Apurimac River. After 2½ hours we stop in Mollepata to have breakfast and shop for last minute supplies. There will be time for leg-stretching or to use the bathrooms, before continuing to Marcocasa. There we will meet with our support staff. They will load the equipment on horses and mules. Around 8:30 a.m. we will start our trek toward Soraypampa (3900 meters above sea level) if we keep a regular pace we will take 4 hours approximately to reach Soraypampa for lunch at our first campsite. After lunch in the afternoon we have an option to go up to see Umantay Lake a glacial lake below the peak of Salkantay at (4200meters above sea level). This side tour takes 3 hours to hike back and forth from the camp. Alternatively, if we are moving at a slow pace; we will have lunch at halfway between Soraypampa and Marco Casa on our way to Soraypampa. Either way our camp will be at Soraypampa. Sleeping tents will be ready and we will have a warm delicious dinner in the evening.

DAY 2: SORAYPAMPA – SALKANTAY PASS – HUAYRAMACHAY – CHAULLAY

In the morning we will wake you up with the coca tea at 5:30 a.m. and we will have a nutritious breakfast around 6 a.m. Today we will start the hardest day of the whole Salkantay trek. We will be walking up to the highest point of the trek. After 7 kilometers uphill through the magnificent landscape of rocky mountains, valleys and flood plain and changing views of Mount Salkantay above us. At the top of the trek we will have spectacular views of the mountains and the imposing snowy peaks of Salkantay (6245) meters above sea level, the second highest mountain of the Cusco region. Then we go 2 hours downhill around 1:00 p.m. to where we will have our delicious Peruvian lunch, in the area called Huayracmachay. Afterward we continue our hike approximately 3 hours downhill to our camp in Chaullay (2900 meters above sea level) or Colcapampa (3000 meters above sea level). The sleeping tents and warm wash water will be ready and waiting for you. Then after a well-earned hot meal we will retire to our tents for a well-deserved sleep.

DAY 3: CHAULLAY – COLLPAPAMPA – LA PLAYA – LUCMABAMBA

Around 6.30am, we start trekking through the high jungle crossing the Lluskamayo valley with its rich variety of flora and fauna to reach La Playa (Sahuayaco) after about 6 hours. We will pass through valleys and have wonderful views of waterfalls, tropical fruits and plants. You will taste the famous passion fruit or granadilla. We will have lunch when we arrive at La Playa. After lunch our horses will go back to Mollepata while we go on to Lucmabamba Campsite where we will spend the night. Here you can choose to go on our coffee tour or opt for a bus drive to Santa Teresa to enjoy the natural hotspring it is famous for. (Bus fares and entrance fees to the natural hot spring is not included in this tour), (coffee tour Is included).

DAY 4: SANTA TERESA – HIDROELECTRYC – AGUAS CALIENTES

We will have our delicious breakfast at 6 a.m. Then we will walk for about 3 hours up to Llactapata and along the original Inka Trail to Llactapata. From this beautiful archeological site we will be able to see part of Machu Picchu and into the amazing Urubamba valley. Afterwards we have another 3 hours down hill until we arrive to the hydrolectric where we are going to have lunch. Then we will walk for 3 more hours or take a 45 minute train ride to Aguas Calientes to your hotel. After you have settled in we will get together for dinner and a briefing on how to get the most out of your visit to Machu Picchu tomorrow.

DAY 5: AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU – OLLANTAYTAMBO – CUSCO

After an early breakfast at the hotel you will walk 1 hour 30 minutes or take bus up to Machu Picchu, so we can be the first ones into Machu Picchu to enjoy the sunrise. You will have a private 2 hour guided tour followed by free time in which you will be able to go on to explore Machu Picchu by yourself. If you have booked the Huayna Picchu in advance climb or the walk up Machu Picchu mountain this is the time for you to set off.

Afterward Machu Picchu you will go back down to Aguas Calientes town to catch the train to Ollantaytambo. There our private van will meet you and take you back to Cusco and drop you off at your hotel or hostel. MORE INFORMATION OF SALKANTAY TREK

What you need to take

    • Original passport and Student card (ISIC) green card
    • Insurance card is essential
    • Hiking water proof boots (with ankle protectors )
    • Waterproof jacket or rain poncho
    • Sleeping bag
    • Warm jack
    • Hat and gloves
    • T-shirts
    • Comfortable trousers
    • Rain pants
    • Sun hat, Bathing suit (for hot springs in santa teresa and Aguas Calientes)
    • Sun protection cream ( factor 35 recommended ) sun is strong
    • Insect Repellent 40 % deet ( for mosquitos )
    • Water bottle
    • Water purification tablets (Micropur recommended)
    • Toilet paper
    • Personal medication
    • Camera and films
    • Torch with spare batteries (flashlight)
    • Extra contribution suggested money for tipping porters, cook and guide. and for any emergency (300 soles)
    • Walking poles ( black diamont or leki brand)

Optional items to take

  • Short pants
  • Walking poles (with rubber tips) they can also be hired from us.$15 usd the all trip.
  • Sleeping bags $20 usd the all trip.
  • Plaster and bandage.

 

LARES TREK

Description

Lares Trek Classic is well for the beginner hikers because the distance of the hike is short and is less difficult but there are many activities to do. Visit communities of the Sacred Valley until you reach Machu Picchu.

LARES TREK ITINERARY

DAY 1: CUSCO – LARES – KISHUARANI

We will pick you up from your hotel in Cusco shortly after 5 a.m. to go by private van to Lares. Our staff will organize all the equipment there. While they are preparing our horses, we will have time to enjoy the beautiful hot springs in Lares. After a great meal, we will begin our hike to Kishuarani, our destination for the day. There we will camp and have some time to visit the families who area living in this area. If you have extra energy maybe we can share time with them and see how they work in their farms. Then we will have a delicious warm dinner in the evening. Your tents will be ready to welcome you into a good night’s sleep.

DAY 2: KISHUARANI – PACHACUTEC PASS – CANCHA CANCHA

We will start our day with a gentle wake up with coca tea delivered to your tent, after which you’ll have time to organize your belongings. Then we will enjoy a delicious and hearty breakfast, just what we need for the day ahead. On this day we will hike about 17 km or 7 hours. The first challenge of our trek will be the climb over Pachacutec pass at 4700 meters. We will celebrate the climb with a lunch near the top. Afterward we have another easy 2 hours approx. to reach our campsite in Cancha Cancha. There we will meet the local people again and learn more about their way of life. This day if we are blessed with clear skies we will see beautiful landscapes and snow-capped mountains the whole day long, and perhaps some condors flying over our heads. At the end of this beautiful day we will have a nice dinner and happy hour before a well-earned rest.

DAY 3: CANCHA CANCHA – HUARAN – OLLANTAYTAMBO – AGUAS CALIENTES

After some hot chocolate, coffee, bread and pancakes we will start our easy day. After going both up and down for a time, we begin a basically downhill trek until Huaran where we are going to spend some time with people living there. Your guide will explain how these people live and work and keep happiness in their families. If we are lucky we will pass by a typical local bar called a “chicheria”. If it is open we will have a chance to see how they make a local corn beer “chicha” from the local corn. Chicha was a sacred drink in the time of the Incas. Then we will meet our vehicle which will take us from Huaran to Ollantaytambo at the bottom of the valley. Then we will board our train and travel 1:45 hours from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes. Our guide will meet you and you take to your hotel and let you know where to have dinner. He will also give you all the information you will need for your next day in Machu Picchu.

DAY 4: MACHU PICCHU SANCTUARY – OLLANTAYTAMBO – CUSCO

Our tour guides and company recommend going to Machu Picchu early in order to be one of the first ones there. It is magical with fewer people and you can have the chance to enjoy the sunrise. Breakfast will be served in your hotel. Then you’ll be taken to catch one of the buses going to Machu Picchu. There your guide will share with you the knowledge and history about Machu Picchu sanctuary in a w tour for approximately 2 hours. You will have some time to explore on your own before you will have to return to Aguas Calientes to catch your train to Ollantaytambo. Our driver or transfer will be waiting for you there with private transportation to take you back to Cusco and your hotel.

INCA JUNGLE

Description

The Inka Jungle tour is a trail that combines adventure sports such as mountain biking, canoeing, zip line and trekking for 4 days to Machu Picchu. The Inka Jungle Trail is the preferred tour by young people from all over the world who arrive in Cusco. in search of adventure and extreme sports.

INCA JUNGLE TRAIL ITINERARY

DAY 1: CUSCO TO SANTA MARIA

We will go to pick you up from your respective hostel. After collecting all the group we will leave Cusco and drive an hour and a half across the spectacular Chinchero plateau and through the Sacred Valley to Ollantaytambo. We will stop at a small local restaurant where you can refresh yourself, get a quick meal or snack, and buy anything you may have forgotten to buy in Cusco. After this we have go back in the bus and drive another hour and a half to Abra Malaga at 4,350 m.a.s.l. There we will provide you all equipment you will need (bike, gloves, elbow pads, knee pads, and helmet), followed by a briefing by our experienced tour guide. Then we mount up for a fun ride all way down hill to Santa Maria at 1,430 m.a.s.l. On the way you will see a lot different landscapes, panoramic views and different micro-climates.We will arrive approximate 4-3 hours, in time for our lunch!
We have a free afternoon to rest or explore the village. As an optional highlight you can choose to join the river rafting tour (100 soles). This will take you on quillabamba river for approximately 2hrs or 25 km and includes class 2 and class 3 rapids.
In the evening you have dinner and sleep in Santa Maria.

DAY 2: SANTA MARIA TO SANTA TERESA

We start with a delicious breakfast and then we prepare for the trekking in the high forest. For that we need some insect repellent and sun cream, and a lot good energies to discover the flora and fauna waiting for us in this expedition. We will pass local plantations on the way to reach the authentic original Inka Trail at the highest point. On the Trail as you view spectacular landscapes and views, you will be trekking into the Inca history. Be warned this is not for people who suffer from vertigo (ask to your guide for especial help or advice to rich 20 minutes of altitude walk)
After leaving the Inka trail we have another one hour and a half to walk in the forest until arrived to Cocalmayo village where we will enjoy our delicious lunch with a local family. Then we have some nap time before trekking on again to arrive in 3 hours at the Cocalmayo Hot Springs. There you can decide with your guide how long you want splash and soak before dinner and sleep in Santa Teresa.

DAY 3: SANTA TERESA TO AGUAS CALIENTES

We will start at around 6 am. After a great breakfast we will get ready to continue walking to Hidroelectrica and then to Aguas Calientes. There is an option in Santa Teresa to do zip line, all participants will be divided into 2 groups – one who booked zip line and the other who did not. Those of you who reserved zip line will be transported to the place where will be organized this activity for about 3 hours approximately . this group will be taken by bus to the area known as the Hidroelectrica. The rest of the group will continue the trek for approx. 3 hrs. more through the valley until reaching the hydroelectric, where the entire group will get together again. Here all of you will have a lunch. After a short break we will continue walking along the train way and enjoying beautiful landscapes. This part will take approx. 3 hrs. We will arrive to the town of Aguas Calientes, around 4 pm. Here, in the hotel with hot water, wi-fi, you will spend the last third night. In the evening we will meet ll together in the restaurant, where will be waiting for you delicious dinner. You will have a briefing with the guide about the fourth day and Machu Picchu.

DAY 4 – MACHU PICCHU / HUAYNA PICCHU TO CUSCO

We will wake up, at 4:00 am, in order to start trekking up the mountain to Machu Picchu in time to catch the sunrise at the top. It will take approximately 1hour and 20 minutes or by the bus up 30 minutes ($.12 USD). Also you have the option to buy your bus ticket one night before if you don’t want this at the last minute. When we first arrive, our guide will take us on a 2 hour tour around the ruins, enlightening us about the ancient City that was once so vibrantly alive, and enriching us with the Inca history. There is much information that our guide can teach us, about all that we have learned about the site archeological site so far.
After the guided portion of the tour, you will have some free time to explore the ruins by your self. If you want to climb Huayna Picchu, a very popular climb with spectacular views, we recommend you to book preferably three months beforehand. (There is daily limit of 400 persons per day allowed to climb, so pre-book if you don’t want to miss out. Cost: $25) The round trip walking to the peak of Huayna Picchu is about an hour and a half. It is definitely worth it for the stunning views from the top! As an alternative to the Huayna Picchu climb you can choose to visit Machu Picchu mountain which gives the ancient Inca townsite its name. This is a new option that lets you see Machu Picchu archeological site from the highest peak. It is less crowded so you don’t have to book early. Cost: $20)
You will need to descend to Aguas Calientes in time to catch the train back to Cusco and Ollantaytambo. You also have the option of staying an extra night in Aguas Calientes, which would allow you more time to explore this remarkable little town with its many markets and restaurants, and you would be able to spend more time in Machu Picchu.
Train from machupicchu to ollantaytambo is about 1 hour 45 minutes, then you need to go out of train station to get bus, after one hour and a half you will be drop in Cusco.

HUCHUY QOSQO TREK 

Description

The route of Huchuy qosqo is very nice, since it is a short route where you can visit the Andean communities, archeological center and scenic beauty until you reach Machu Picchu.

HUCHUY QOSQO TREK ITINERARY

DAY 1: CUSCO – PATABAMBA – HUCHUY QOSQO

We will begin the tour with an early morning pick up from your hotel, at 7:30 am, to drive right over to Patabamba (3800 m.). The day’s hike will start at this point, and will continue through Andean landscapes and over the Pukamarca Pass at 3,800m, we will hike along a path that leads to the Tauca town, where we encounter archaeological remains and wild crops, such as tarwi, and a large quantity of cactus. We continue on to the Pukamarca pass at 4200, where we may enjoy views of the Surrounding area, immense mountains, Veronica, Pitusiray, Chicon and San Juan snow peaks.
Continuing the path, we will descend towards the beautiful, remote Andean pueblo, Pukamarca at 4010m, where we stop and have a short break. As get back on the move, we will walk downhill into a mystical ancient path which will lead us to the Leon Punku Ravine. We will be led into a very narrow corridor, between some immense rock walls, where we will discover some Incan remains and various Inca bridges and sets of stairs (some of the best Inca Stairs anywhere). This canyon is absolutely magical and boasts geological formations surrounded by majestic rocks and boulders that direct the river to Huchuy Qosqo at 3600m, where we will soon be arriving. Upon our arrival to the ruins in the evening, we will actually continue on past the ruins and to our accommodations for the night. We will have dinner and sleep in the typical home of a native of the area, just to the side of the Huchuy Qosqo ruins.

DAY 2: WACAWASI – AURACCASA PASS – YANAHUARA

DAY 2: HUCHUY QOSQO- LAMAY-OLLANTAYTAMBO- AGUAS CALIENTES Huchuy Qosqo is an Inca archaeological complex which is perched precariously on the side of a mountain with imposing architecture that includes a large open ceremonial center, from which we enjoy an amazing panoramic view of the Sacred Valley, the Vilcanota River, and the snow capped mountain range of the same name. While in the complex, we will receive a guided tour as we make our way around the ruins after which we continue our way down the mountain, to Lamay at 3000m/ 9840 ft. Lamay is a town dedicated to agriculture and cattle raising. Later in the afternoon, our private transport drives us to Ollantaytambo, where we will board an afternoon train to Aguas Calientes. The train ride to get there is an absolutely gorgeous route, renowned the world round for its’ beauty. Upon our arrival to Aguas Calientes all passengers will be shown their respective hotels.

DAY 3 – MACHU PICCHU

Your climb to Machu Picchu begins before the sun is up. Ascend step by step for approximately an hour up the Inca staircase to the formerly lost stronghold of Machu Picchu. A 2-hour guided tour reveals mysteries and poses questions of how the Incas lived and were able to achieve such marvelous feats of engineering. After the tour you have the option to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain for an even more incredible view of the ruins and the surrounding sheer cliffs of the Andes. Take your time exploring the wondrous ruins and get that perfect picture before making your descent back to Aguas Calientes. Your return time to Cusco will depend on which transport option, or return train you select.
Huayna Picchu is the mountain located at the northwest end of the ruins and Machu Picchu mountain is located at the southwest end. Huayna Picchu is steeper, but more popular and has some interesting archeological ruins at the top. Machu Picchu mountain is a longer trek, less steep and less crowded and offers great views over Machu Picchu. Check this amazing link out for views from the Huayna Picchu mountain and Machu Picchu mountain (it will open with the Huayna Picchu mountain, click on the right side of the picture and the other views will open).
Huayanpicchu cost $10 dollars extra depending of spaces.(we have to book thisd in advanced)

CHOQUEQUIRAO TREK

Description

Choquequirao trek To Machu Picchu 8 Days, is one of the little crowded routes of Cusco but no less attractive than Machu Picchu, since Choquequirao is considered the Sister Citadel of Machu Picchu.

CHOQUEQUIRAO TREK ITINERARY

Day 1: Cusco – Cachora – Playa Rosalina (Campsite)

Our driver and Guide will pick you up from your hotel at 5:00 a.m. We will drive for 3 hours to Cachora town where we will have our breakfast while our staff will prepare the equipment on mules and horses. From Cachora there is a walk of 4 hours until our lunch spot where we will enjoy a delicious meal and the views of majestic Padrayoc snow covered peaks, at 5482 meters the highest of the area. The hike on this first day is 21km or 8 hours approx. On the way we will see the snow covered peaks of other high mountains in the area and appreciate the beautiful change of the landscape. The first part is quite flat and after lunch we might see condors and different birds from the vantage point of Capuliyoc. The second part is a descent towards the Apurímac Canyon, observing as the vegetation changes with altitude on our way to Playa Rosalina (Campsite at 1550 meters).

Day 2: La Playa Rosalina – Maranpata – Choquequirao Archeological Site

Early morning after breakfast, we will start crossing the river Apurimac and then walk uphill through zig zag trail until we arrive at Maranpata (approx. 4 hours) where we will enjoy lunch, our first meal prepared by our chef. After lunch we will continue on to Choquequirao arriving around 2pm. First we will visit this magnificent archaeological site with our guide. Then for the rest of the day we will be able to explore the beautifully preserved Inka buildings and structures and enjoy the spectacular views of the canyon. If we are lucky we may see condors soaring over our heads and in the valley.

By the end of the day we will camp close to Choquequirao (altitude approx. 3050 meters).

Day 3: Choquequirao – Pinchinuyoc Archaeological Site – Maizal.

After our day in amazing Choquequirao we continue to Maizal. In this part of the tour we will see another archeological site called Pinchinuyoc which is at 3300 meters. Then we will descend to Rio Blanco is at 1900 meters. In Rio Blanco we can take time to refresh ourselves with the cold water and prepare for a 3 hour climb trekking through a cloud forest to Maizal is at 3000 meters where our campsite awaits us in a most beautiful location. We finish our day with great food and a good night’s sleep.

Day 4: Maizal – Minas Victoria- Yanama.

Due to the ecosystem’s constant changes, we will take our time to rest and take pictures. In this section in particular, our passenger will have more time to stop, enjoy and take lot of pictures. We start this morning with a great breakfast, making sure we stock up on our water supplies. After we have been hiking for a couple hours we will pass by the impressive Inka mines we call Minas Victoria. We’ll also appreciate original inka trails and beautiful landscapes. At times we will be able to see some villages where people are living close to our destination. Our camping place will be in the little village called Yanama is at 3530 meters.

Day 5: Yanama – Highest Pass Of This Trip- Totora

Early in the morning, we will head toward the highest pass of this trip. We will be climbing to 4670 meters. The views are amazing and in this land of condors we may see some of them flying over our heads. After the pass we will descend, following a river to the hamlet of Totora where will find our campsite. Torora is in an amazing valley covered in lush vegetation and surrounded by majestic snowcapped mountains. Our campsite will be close to one of the few families leaving in Totora.

Day 6: Totora – La Playa Sahuayaco (Hot Springs Optional)

Before leaving Totora we will be able to meet some people indigenous to the area who speak their native language of Quechua, the language spoken by the Inkas. Depending on the season we will be able to appreciate them working on their farms with ancestral Inka techniques.

After leaving Totora we will get into the highland jungle of Lluscamayo valley with many orchids, bromeliads and lots of different vegetation. On the way we may see small waterfalls and have a refreshing natural bath. At the end of the valley of Lluscamayo we will arrive at La Playa Sahuayaco. We will camp close to this village so we’ll be able to try coffee, papaya, passion fruit and avocado which are growing in this area. Here you can choose to go on our coffee tour or opt for a bus drive to Santa Teresa to enjoy the natural hotspring (Bus fares and entrance fees to the natural hot spring is not included in this tour), (coffee tour Is included).

Day 7: Playa – Llacta Pata – Hidroelectrica – Aguas Calientes.

This day, we will make our final uphill climb to Llacta Pata, where we will have an excellent view of the lost Inca city of Machu Picchu on a nearby ridge. After a good rest, we will go 3 more hours down to the Hydroelectric plant. There we will take the train to Aguas Calientes, where your accommodations are awaiting you with the comforts of showers and clean beds. Then you will enjoy the dinner, and by the end of the day our guide will let you know all the information and last details you’ll need for Machu Picchu tomorrow morning.

Day 8: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes – Ollantaytambo – Cusco.

From Aguas Calientes we take bus up to Machu Picchu. We start our visit with a 2 hour guided tour that will bring us to the most important locations at the archaeological site. The guide will tell us about the great importance Machu Picchu enjoyed as astronomical and religious center. The rest of the day is free for you. In this time you will be able to go on to explore Machu Picchu by yourself. If you have booked the Huayna Picchu in advance climb or the walk up Machu Picchu mountain this is the time for you to set off. Afterward Machu Picchu you will go back down to Aguas Calientes town to catch the train to Ollantaytambo. There our private van will meet you and take you back to Cusco and drop you off at your hotel or hostel.

 

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